Explore Calgary’s historic sites with updated interactive map of the city

Locals and visitors to Calgary can now explore the city’s historic sites through an updated interactive map.

On Monday, the City of Calgary and Heritage Calgary launched the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources Map. This updated map combines two older resources: the Discover Historic Calgary map and the Heritage Inventory database of historic sites.

“It really is a treasure trove of information, and we’re continuing to add sites to the inventory,” said Josh Traptow, CEO of Heritage Calgary.

“We hope that everyone will find a use for it. It’s an amazing tool.”

The map features more than 800 heritage resources and sites, with descriptions of the historical significance of many locations. 

A new feature of the map is that it’s accessible on smartphones, and there’s an option to compare aerial views of the city from different time periods.

“You can actually swipe through [the] present day to 1924 to get a sense as to how the city has changed over the last many years,” said Traptow.

Historic sites are identified on the map by a colour code. Traptow said Heritage Calgary worked with the city to choose a palette for the colour code that people who have colour blindness can still see.

“That was an important thing, making sure that it was accessible to as many Calgarians as possible,” he said.

The map can be accessed through the city’s website and the Heritage Calgary website. The map is part of a larger project undertaken by the City of Calgary to update its digital infrastructure, according to a news release from the city.

Many uses for the map

So far, the map and its new features are being enjoyed by at least one local historian.

“These are features that I didn’t even know I needed,” said Albertan historian Harry Sanders in the release.

“To me, telling the stories of our past has to be rooted in facts and details that help us understand the significance of a place.”

Josh Traptow, CEO of Heritage Calgary, pictured here in 2019, says the updated map is ‘a treasure trove of information.’ (Terri Trembath/CBC)

The map could also be of use to homebuyers and those who work in real estate.

“This inventory is a hidden gem. More people need to visit it,” said Calgary realtor Halyna Tataryn in the release. 

Tataryn specializes in selling heritage homes in the city and says she will use the map “to better understand the history of Calgary’s neighbourhoods.”

Traptow said the older versions of the map have been used in classrooms across the city, and he hopes the new map will also be used by teachers.

“I think the new inventory will continue to be a helpful educational resource both in post-secondary but also in K-12 as well,” he said. 

Ultimately, Traptow hopes the interactive map will help Calgarians get outside and explore the history of the city.

“People strolling up and down Inglewood, they can pull out their phone and have a look at the various [historic] sites,” he said.

“[It] really will help people learn a little bit more about their community and why those buildings have been kept and how they continue to contribute to Calgary.”

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